is solar power worth it? an analysis 12 years after installation

Komentarjev

  • Just bought the book

  • Incentives ha from the the tax payers ... you want ME to pay for your "alternative' nonsense

  • Fabulous information! I am in my first year on 17 acres and enjoying your vids.

  • A net metering law is great unless they modify it in Alberta we ownly get the power used taken off the rest is a credit which you never can use up and at 40 $per month savings it'll never pay for itself so I've been buying it one peice at a time unfortunately I or fortunately I found utube and found out that the components I've bought are all wrong pwm instead of mppt modified sine wave inverter instead of pure sine wave inverter I've looked into solar generators but they're way past my budget and the two that would stretch my budget both have major flaws that rule them out so I'm back to designing a system and starting over on my inverter them replacing the rest of the components as I'm able I figure my batteries should last 5 years so at 200$per month I have that long to pay for the inverter and buy a mppt controller and buy new batteries unless either our federal or provincial government goes green and brings in true net metering

  • Wow thanks for the video; very informative! I just had solar panels installed on our roof and can’t wait for them to be activated and connected to the grid next month!! ⚡️

  • Another thing to keep in mind is 12 years ago solar panels were far more expensive than current solar panels. Now at 12 years he'd be in profit already.

  • Not as long as the power companies are for profit companies. My power company gave the states attorney 650,000 dollars into his campaign. Ever since I got my $28,000 solar system , my power company is busy daily in the statehouse trying to get out of paying me for the power I generate. We need to take all utilities publicly owned . Operated for the benefit of the people only and always. Get the genocidal profiteers out of our power grid. Hang the CEOs and Boards of Directors on C-Span.

  • The inverter tech as well as the efficiency rating on the panels are so much better nowadays. Also, you need to consider how many jobs you managed to pull down because of your example. That carried over to a profit margin, so in a sense you could easily have paid it off before you even retired to farm full time. Lastly, stationary panel design is also a little antiquated and mounting smaller panels and inverting them in a V shape so one reflects towards the other and affixing to a post that can track at least 180 degrees will exponentialize the efficiency. Get three of those going and you can generate close to 25kwh. I intend to install a total of six on our farm in order to sell back to the grid here in WA.State.

  • Have you considered replacing the panels for more modern panels that yield higher wattage?

  • I’m sold on the physical success. Explain further the environmental and political impact please. Include such costs as, mining impact, global impact (Middle East wars protecting carbon (oil) for shipping, empowering the CCP (politically and their filthy air) and most of all, future demolition (landfill) impact. Thank you, great channel and content! Love it all!

  • Finally solar explained so a mailman can figure it out no buy back where I live so not for me also those creepy solar salesmen has anyone ever heard one of these guys say your house ISN'T perfect for solar lol

  • As an early adopter, you really paid a lot more for much less efficient equipment than someone installing now. The trick with solar is finding an installer that doesn't rip you off. There are so many companies out there that are getting rich by playing on peoples green emotions. About 7 years ago, I started down the path of getting solar and after getting a few ridiculous quotes from greedy companies I started to investigate how to do it myself. Obviously climbing on a roof is not for everybody, but if you can do it yourself, you will save a fortune. I self-installed an array that is a little over 15KW DC (60 255W panels) in sunny Phoenix Arizona for about $19k after rebates. As of today, I have generated 183MWh, and at $0.15 per KWh, I have not only paid off my system but have put $8k in my pocket. The real downside now, though, is that utility companies all over the country are fighting back. In Arizona, for example, every utility has now eliminated month to month net metering. So at the end of the month, you no longer roll excess KWh credits forward, but get cashed out at the wholesale rate - which is less than 3 cents per KWh! They are all also tacking on "Distributed Generation Fees" which is nothing more than a money grab by utilities. This drags out the ROI significantly, making it even more critical that you do your homework and don't get ripped off.

  • Nice system. Thanks for sharing. You have a nice set-up. hopefully it will inspire more people who are on the grid, as well as the off the grid folks. I don't want to seem critical but I was wondering why you didn't use microinverters ? and that long run from the array to the inverter looks like it would lose a lot of power due to the resistance in the wires. It is a function of the gauge of the wire and the distance, I presume. I have a rooftop solar system 20 panels x 240w, which is still running. I have no battery and feed back to the grid. My system is has Enphase microinverters. I plan to replace the microinverters when the warantee period is up. The Enphase M190's are notorious for early failure. They started failing around year 8. I've replaced 4 dead ones and 4 others (they each service 2 panels). The Newer M210's are way more reliable. Enphase did cover the warrantee on the old ones. I want to replace the whole system at some point, but in the meantime my 20 panel 4800w max system is putting power back into the grid, and covering my needs. Unfortunately, PG&E (California) is about to make the solar roof industry less affordable by not paying as much for the power they have to buy from solar rooftops. This is still in the works, but from what I can tell, the payback period will be longer than my remaining years on the planet. After 10 years I am more or less satisfied with having done solar. However, it hasn't saved me much money, but I am near the breakeven point a few years earlier than predicted. (15yrs was my estimate). If the system just runs for a few years longer I will literally be in the green. My neighbors all thought I was crazy, but with electric rates going up, my bill has been very low - like $100 a year (not zero), for 10 years now. And I've generated 48.7 MW of electricity, which means a lot of natural gas did not get burned. :-)

  • "Noon" isn't the most powerful time that makes energy...solar noon is the highest position of the sun during the day. Two hours ahead & two hours after is the highest part of the day that you can profit off the sun

  • Now that solar panels put out nearly twice the amount of power per square inch have you ever thought about upgrading

  • Great vid. I'm in the catskills on a farm. I've always wanted to put some solar in. Maybe its time

  • I want to see a video that someone gets in front of his solar panels and then just says yes, then ends the video.

  • Ceramic coat the panels like you would your cars paint and that 1% loss per year "should" disappear and the panels "should" last much longer, in theory. Just a helpful tip!

  • You may move forward, but you never leave your past.

  • How are the panels made? By solar?

  • Just remember that state subsidies come partially from sales taxes. Sales taxes that overwhelmingly hit lower-income citizens the hardest. These same low-income citizens that mostly will never be able to benefit from solar subsidies. Why is it fair for wealthy citizens to take money from less wealthy citizens?

  • Great video and greetings from Binghamton! I've been looking into setting up solar at my house... not a huge fan of those NYSEG bills.

  • For those interested payback now is typically 6 years in Southern California. I have installed over 5,000 systems over the last 35 years, as far as I am aware they are all still working, some with replaced inverters etc.

  • Love this video! Very informative! I like that you bon't have to buy and use expensive batteries!

  • At least it isn't BBQing birds out of the sky like other solar power systems. youtube search: California solar power plants ignite birds mid-flight

  • Of course if you consider using the produced electricity for transportation the equation changes as the payback is considerably faster. What is the payback on a TV or a refrigerator sometimes life style overrides profit. Have considered upgrading the panels as production has tripled in the last few years. For first timers there are lots of used solar systems at rock bottom prices available.

  • Solar power on farms could be used instead of building sheds and halfroofs. I'm sure the animals would like a shaded area to relax on a warm summer day.

  • I wanted to thank you for one of the first honest appraisals I have heard involving costs and payback. I worked as an industrial electrician for 47 years, and have honestly never seen a decent payback/cost. Between bootlickers, managers wanting to get brownie points for "green energy" and accountants, sure that they could justify cost numbers, I got stuck, installing, and then later scrapping their projects - often replacing it with the bigger, better deal. Some of the projects may have had merit in the southern states, but as far north as we were, only recyclers made any money. Again, thanks for the honesty.

  • Also take into consideration that modern solar panels are a lot more fficient than before

  • My feeling is if it's right for you and your family it's a great install. Hope you keep watching Federal and maybe State and send incentives to add to your bank at a much lower cost.

  • So this still doesn't make sense without net-metering...this should be a federal mandate.

  • Looks like solar is an ethics choice still unless you can buy the system with zero percent financing for 10 years. Financially I am not sure it will ever make sense unless you are a solar farmer or utility.

  • Free energy will destroy solar power and old fossils energies !

  • Great video. Thank you.

  • And after the panels have to much degraded,what then?These are toxic materials!They will be dumpt on a high mountain off these things and buried!Just like the wings off windfarms,they are just buried after they are to bad to keep using them.No,green is not so green as you might think!!!!!

  • No. It is not. Take away the subsidies and even install is outrageous. the upkeep is crazy. technology isn't quite there yet.

  • @9:52 Why would we pay people to ruin productive farmland with solar installations, when we have 100's of square miles of parking lot and commercial/industrial flat roof available?

  • Are you saying that 12 panels can only run a 12 cup coffee maker?

  • So, NO , its is NOT cost effective to have a solar system such as this .

    • Notice, the title said “is it worth it?” There are other measures of worth besides cost.

  • It's not worth it I know people that at first said it's the greatest thing then over the years realized it's not.

  • so after 12 years you recovered half of the 17k used to install solar panels. not to mention if you took the 17k and invested in something at 5% that 17k would have grown to 30k. so you spent 17k. lost 13k in unrealized interest profit for 8k in in saved electricity. also the typical solar panel only lasts for 25 years. so you never reach the break even point.

    • @Primal Woods right on. People suggest that if it's subsidized that makes it more affordable. No that just gives someone else the bill. You mentioned future power outages as a reason to install solar. Panels. I have a friend who has solar panels on his roof. I was told by him in the event of power outages. He is not able to turn on power from solar as to the possibility of back channeling power into the network and frying the electric repair techs repairing downed power lines. What I did was purchase a home generator for 600 bucks and had electrician install a bypass switch so of I lose power I can run everything on my generator for under 1k plus the cost of the gas. About a third of a gallon an hour

    • @Darren Anderson I agree. Also, I don’t think a “full-cycle” environmental cost analysis has been offered up by the industry or the government subsidizing solar. The true cost of extracting the minerals, not to mention the energy required to build the system, are subsidized pretty much at every stage of production. Then, with these huge solar farms, we are taking out carbon sinks; active soils, grasslands, and/or forests/woods, to “plant” the solar collectors. So in addition to the financials not making sense, I’m not convinced that the environmental return on investment is anywhere close to claims. Now, if I’m looking to solar as a cost of preparing for longer power outages, say more than a week, that’s different calculus; then it’s like buying insurance; it’s for that reason that I would do it, should I decide to do it, then the return from the power company would simply reduce the cost of my insurance against long-term outage. Further to this conversation I suppose, Pete doesn’t use batteries; another very expensive component with a limited lifespan.

    • @Lance Brown you started this fight. I still dont know what your problem is with my post.

    • @Lance Brown so you call me names, I offer you to explain your position and you run away like a puss calling more names. Yea you showed me.

    • @Darren Anderson Bye bye bunwipe. LOL Children these days…

  • Great video and seems informative. Thank you for sharing!

  • Solar power won't be environmentally logical until the batteries used to store the power are made more environmentally friendly. I think overall everything's getting better still, but that lithium is nasty, and is mined in the worst ways imaginable, primarily in Asia. Even if you're not storing the power, the power plans need to just because of the on/off nature of electric and wind power. We're just starting to go over the line economically, but it still takes a very long time to make it worth it.

  • Sir..you are one genuine gentleman.No uhmms and errs ..spot on down to the point.Thank you. With a voice like that you should be on the BBC or the US equivalent. Greetings from the UK

  • Why burn wood? dirty air with wood!

  • The panels today instead of 170W are 340. Therefore, you can double your production. Have you considered upgrading just the panels to increase production?

    • Double the voltage at half the amperage is the same wattage.

  • Those panels don't last that long out here in Arizona in real sun.

    • @Overlord P. They get in excess of 200 degrees on days like today. Materials degenerate quickly. Storage batteries ...Forget it ..Heat kills them.

    • Overheated??

  • I come from Liberia where the government is incapacitated and can't provide electricity to the entirety of the population. Because of this, there are lots of alternative to fill the gap, where people use huge generators and sell 1 amp for $ 40-45 dollars USD per month. I'm thinking about building something like this and commercialize it. I think it's viable and sustainable and more environmentally friendly than other alternatives.

    • As long as you have enough battery bank to deal with your excess power or a hot water tank to save the energy that way 👍👍

  • Never trust an atom They make up everything.

  • You are inspirational👍

  • Don't forget when considering costs and payback, that you have invested your money once, but the effective return will increase as the electricity supply company charges increase each year. The cost of grid electricity will increase for example 4% per annum whereas if you had saved your initial investment in a bank they would have paid you 0.3% per annum interest. At least that's the rate in the UK, if you are lucky. Most are now 0.1%.

  • And is it true these panels last 20 yrs and now you have a hazardous waste on your hands to get rid of.

  • It is not about cost, its about the environment and when they will stop using coal for electricity. eventually you will not have a choice. you will have to use this alternative unless they come up with seething else.

  • The total cost seems reasonable. Thanks for the information! Great video!

  • I really like this setup as I see some big gains here. Can anybody answer this question. If the panels track the sun to maintain optimum position, as a percentage how many fewer panels would you need compared to a south facing static roof at say 30 degrees pitch.

  • INTERESTING 🤔

  • 8500 in 2009 adj. For inflation ia 11000

  • Sounds like alot of feelgood

  • so, there again 17,000 after tax and subsidy incentives... that is right out of everyone's pocket that is paying taxes...how many systems would it take to create a budget problem? eliminate the subsidies and tax breaks and i would be interested...

  • Very informative. Wow. Thank you!

  • Thank you for posting this!

  • I don't recall where the experiment is taking place, or what they're calling it, but there was an article that I read recently about a system where they mount solar panels high enough above the land that they're able to continue to farm under the panels, making it a far less-wasteful use of productive farm land.

    • Agrivoltaics is the name. They say they can get almost as good farm yields from the crops, while adding the revenue stream from the solar, in best-case scenarios.

  • The real achievement is that you are contributing to protect the environment

  • Excellent video. Thank you.

  • Solar on productive farm land? I'm curious... aren't there crops that do better in partial shade? Couldn't there be a compromise? Crops farm sunlight, just like solar panels do. They just differ in the end product, right?

    • look into semi transparent solar panels being trialed as part of poly tunnels

  • Why a panel too far? Voltage loss

  • I enjoyed your video. I'm considering adding some solar to my small farm but being in my 70's a ten year payback is all I'm willing to invest. One question though. As a retired electrician I was shocked that you apparently push dc the distance from the panels to the barn. The voltage drop must be excessive. Surely having your inverter at the panels and pushing the ac to the barn would be far more efficient. I'm looking at clearing some trees and putting my panels within fifty feet of my service entrance at the barn. I have more clearance by my home but then I'd have to run the underground a couple of hundred feet back to the service entrance.

  • How about clean glass 🤔

  • Thanks, Mate!

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  • I can get 6KWh solar panel in my region for just $2000 thesedays

  • You are a very good spokesman. I have been getting calls about installing solar for a long time. But the more I learn, the more I want to understand. The fixed cost of the system seemed higher than I expected but I dont like to be in debt making payments. I think I can do that. You have a farm and probably use much more electricity than me, a single homeowner in a subdivision and 3 bedroom house. BUT I have noticed MORE houses putting solar panels on their houses and that got my attention. Thank you for a very good explanation.

  • Excellent explanation and the decision for me to install solar is resounding NO.

  • Good video, and thanks. With the operative word of the title being "worth", I guess the answer is no, not by a long shot. The break even of a relative's system I am familiar with is 14 years, at best. Yikes. Even to bring it down to an "affordable" level requires subsidies up the wazoo, which we are all paying for. This means we all have to work more in order to afford the same goods to live on because we're all paying for so many subsidies of so many types. That is NOT in line with my beliefs.

  • No

  • Yes, technology will only get better and better , like you said. I am for Solar Panels systems and wind power also. I don't have the budget to build one now. I live alone so i would need lots of power compared to a large Familly unit. I know you could sell your surplus of electricity back to the power company but I think I would try to be fully Off the Grid and become more independent. Other things that would help is : A wood stove, LED lights, Propane stove, 12 volts Fridge, On demand water heater and water heater pipes for the house also. 2 Wind turbines. So if i win a large some of money i am surely investing in a Off The Grid solar Kit . I also believe that there should also be technology to do exercises connected to a generator and to also recharge you Lithium Ion batteries. So you can save energy in any situation and with no waste.

  • Wonder if you ever considered growing crops or veggies underneath might help create a symbiotic relationship were the panels and the greens benefit

  • You’re not including a cost of capital in your analysis. What is $20K invested in the market over the same period? Tax incentives should be listed separately.

  • Energy used in material collection, (AKA mining and petroleum), toxic waste from manufacturing then real world recycling practises, I personally don't see a cleaner environment product.

  • It's a bit deceptive saying you're banking to the grid. Not really, you're just sending power out for someone else to use at that time and replacing coal or whatever else would have done the job. The only time electricity is banked it when saving to a battery, either one you install or a pumped storage scheme run by the electricity companies.

  • I build systems. Off grid only. You can check out my builds if you get time. I use EV batteries

  • Concern emerging about the environmental cost of 'spent' panels to be disposed of, the economic life of existing systems and the cost of storage -- actual or virtual. Future appraisals of large scale rather than domestic installations have to give more consideration to the carbon footprint of the creation process: mining , processing, manufacturing ,transport to site, installation and servicing.

  • The current state of solar panel waste is known to be non recyclable, at the end of its lifespan of course. So it can be considered that this system is detrimental to the environment if the waste is not properly disposed of? Can someone correct me on this?

  • solar project?

  • Very informative, thanks for doing this! I went thru much the same process. We too would need a pedestal system vs roof mount and I'd favor an az/el one. While it's the right thing to do, we won't be alive in 25 yrs. How many people will be in the same home in 25 yrs? However, it's a perfect thing for municipalities and power companies to do. The cost of electricity per KWH is far less with solar than fossil fuels and better for the planet.

  • You should check out using solar panels as a form of outdoor barn

  • The average cost to have a system similar to this one is currently (June 2021) 11-15K dollars, depending where you live. Not to mention there are so many things not mentioned about maintenance cost covered in this video. Just one would be how do you reduce or repair the hazing of the panel surface, 12% per year means these panels have had to been reconditioned or replaced, yet no mention of how much that cost. It is like only judging an automobile by gas mileage and not including regular maintenance in the cost of ownership. Probably a very good reason not to keep a detailed ledger of cost and expense for the 12 years, the numbers would not be so appealing. Hindsight of solar as a long term solution to energy will eventually be considered a boondoggle, as the savings will be virtually break even and the cycle of installing a new system will simply start the ROI all over again. Wind technology will ultimately prove far more useful as wind is present with or without sunlight. Also, Carbon Footprint has no absolute formal method of being calculated, there are too many variables.

  • Is solar power worth it? Short answer, no. With the federal and state tax dollar subsidy you barely break even. Without the federal and state tax dollar subsidys you lose. Then the maintenance, battery service and replacement that is not discussed plus regular cleaning for optimal performance.

    • No batteries in that setup. Price of system now half 8500 instead of 17000. Anyone who can work out how to improve the glass coating would be on to a winner, perhaps a spray on coat after x years. I like this setup but I would have it tracking the sun, big improvement in power production I think. My concern would be wind damage, so I would want to build automatic storm lock down in to this as well.

  • I am not a solar fan , HOWEVER , find your work & logic sound . it is an investment , not a toy

  • String inverter? Are you using optimizers on the panels? So that a panel that's not producing doesn't affect the rest of the array?

  • Neat cabling

  • 25 years payback with taxpayer backed incentives. Wonder how long payback period is if those incentives didn't exist.

  • I hope you were able to write off the entire cost as a business expense, it being a demo.

  • 👍🇺🇸

  • Could you add on the subsidies and tax breaks- and so compute the actual cost of the installation? I believe this will not ever come close to paying for itself, though your grid costs of $0.10/kwh is relatively inexpensive. Even so, what are the environmental costs of the manufacture, and finally of the disposal?

  • would applying wax to the surface of the solar panels to fill those scratches reduce losses? i understand the labor would be challenging to achieve.

  • I installed (myself) a solar power system at my house using 24 - 385 watt panels & 2 Sunnyboy 5.0 5kw inverters. 4 strings of 6 panels each, 2 strings feeding each inverter. Turned it on 1 Jan 2020. Thru 12 mos of electric bills, I paid for electricity, for all 12 mos, drumroll please, $1.80. Total cost was $12,800, got a 30% tax credit, and if it continues like this, will reach break-even in 3.4 years. This is grid tied, no batteries.

  • this is some honest raw data of investment and profit. i thought you going to promote this idea and the end but you didnt. thx

  • Not economic.

  • Thank you so much for this input. I've been wanting to install a system but was worried about what the actual long term gain would be. Of course, doing our part to help the recovery of Earth is a good enough cause. But we need to make bank as well because...humans